Fireplaces can be a great addition to any home, but when poorly maintained, the fireplace's chimney can cause many issues, including risks to your family. If you would like to learn more, check out these three chimney repair services you should consider.
Protecting the Top of the Chimney
A lot of issues can arise if the top of the chimney is fully exposed and unprotected. First, many birds like to make nests in chimneys. Without a chimney cap, they can just fly right in, leaving your chimney littered with debris and bird droppings.
In addition, water inside the chimney can cause the motor to break down faster, increasing the risk of cracks and chips. Drafts traveling through the chimney can get inside your home, reducing the temperature so you have to use more energy. Fortunately, a good chimney cap will prevent water and drafts from entering the home.
Repairing Cracks and Holes
Cracks and holes in the chimney flue tend to cause two main issues. First, they weaken the chimney, increasing the risk of further damage. Instead of an inexpensive repair, ignored damage can lead to total chimney replacement or chimney collapse.
The other risk of a damaged chimney flue is exposure to toxic gases. Fires create a lot of dangerous gases. The chimney, however, directs those dangerous gasses outside and away from your indoor air. Unfortunately, if there are cracks, the gases leak out and may get inside your home, including carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide exposure can be fatal, but it has no odor, so you may not know you've been exposed. to remedy this, you should have your chimney repaired.
Over time, your chimney will get dirty due to smoke and ash from the fire. In general, this poses no issue, but wood combustion creates creosote, which can significantly increase the risk of a chimney fire. This is because creosote is mostly tar, which is highly flammable and sticky, so it clings to the chimney walls and then hardens. Unfortunately, creosote won't go away on its own. If you ignore it, it will only continue to build up, narrowing the chimney opening. If ignited by a spark or flame, the creosote burns slowly, giving the fire time to fully consume your chimney.
If you want to start using your fireplace, but you're nervous about the state of the chimney, consider an inspection. A few repairs or a good cleaning may turn may make your fireplace and chimney like new again. If you would like to learn more, contact a residential chimney repair service.